Seasonable tokens are about. Red berries shine here and there in the lattices of Minor Canon Corner; Mr. and Mrs. Tope are daintily sticking sprigs of holly into the carvings and sconces of the Cathedral stalls, as if they were sticking them into the coat-button-holes of the Dean and Chapter. Lavish profusion is in the shops: particularly in the articles of currants, raisins, spices, candied peel, and moist sugar. An unusual air of gallantry and dissipation is abroad; evinced in an immense bunch of mistletoe hanging in the greengrocer’s shop doorway, and a poor little Twelfth Cake, culminating in the figure of a Harlequin—such a very poor little Twelfth Cake, that one would rather called it a Twenty-fourth Cake or a Forty-eighth Cake—to be raffled for at the pastrycook’s, terms one shilling per member.
The date was October 11, 1913. A Nottingham diarist by the name of Sydney Race was trying to solve a puzzle – the ending of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Charles Dickens’ final, unfinished novel.
In a bid to find the answer that had puzzled Dickens’ fans since his death 40 years earlier – and continues to intrigue devotees today – Race travelled to London to meet Dickens’ daughter Kate Perugini.
The Mystery Of Edwin Drood is a Charles Dickens story about a choirmaster’s obsession with a beautiful young woman. But a different kind of obsession has developed since Dickens last put pen to paper on the novel 142 years ago: How should the story end?